Foto Ruta’s top 5 tips for taking great Tango photography

Any Tango enthusiast who’s tried to take photos in a milonga or Tango show will know what we’re talking about when we say that despite being endlessly photogenic, it’s not easy to take great photos of tango. Unless you’re a skilled photographer, the combination of movement + darkness is a difficult one, and even if you get the technicalities right, taking original photos that don’t look like every other tango tourist’s is a challenge. We asked our friends at Foto Ruta, experts in photography and the brains behind a new and original way to explore Buenos Aires, to give us their top 5 tips for photographing tango.

1.       Learn about the culture of Tango

There’s a lot more to tango than meets the eye. It’s a way of life and culture, that’s crammed full with codes, tradition, music and identity. If you understand the culture you can take photos that are empty of cliché, and instead tell a story. Narrative Tango Tours will help you get to grips with this side of things!

2.       Go behind the scenes

If you can get there, you’ll find that shots behind the scenes will show you the whole story. Behind the sparkling dresses and red lipstick, tango is filled with interesting characters and situations – you’ll get some of your best shots backstage.

3.       Test out different angles

Don’t just sit on the sidelines with all the other spectators, get involved, get in on the action and find the most interesting angles possible to make your photos original and give them a different perspective.

4.       Capture the movement

Tango is about movement…obvio, so be sure to play around with shutter speeds. Capturing the movement of all or a selection of the dancer’s body parts can be really impactful and capture the spirit of the dance.

5.       Go for Emotion

Tango is an emotional, passionate, sometimes sad, almost always assertive dance. The facial expressions, brace of the hand, point of the toe…are all hugely important when capturing tango. Try to focus in on key elements, as well as the whole picture. You should get some interesting shots!

Foto Ruta is a brand new way to see Buenos Aires. For anyway who wants to see the less explored and more genuine side of the city, Foto Ruta offers afternoon explorations of some of Buenos Aires most interesting barrios for only $100AR. Foto Ruta also offers 1 day street photography workshops (Foto Ruta Academia), offering you a chance to explore areas of the city guided by expert photography tuition. To find out more, email

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